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Humming a New Tune on World Toilet Day

By Professor Lyla Mehta and Dr Alan Nicol*

BRIGHTON/LONDON, UK | 18 November 2023 (IDN) — A hummingbird is the symbol of 2023’s World Toilet Day. (19 November). Fabled as a small actor in a huge drama—putting out a fire with tiny droplets of water—the analogy appears to be that every one of us doing our bit can make positive change happen in the sanitation world.…


Indian State Elections: Ruling BJP Vows to Eradicate Manual Scavenging

Special IDN SDG News Feature*

BENGALURU, India, 3 May 2023 (IDN) — India’s southern state of Karnataka is due to go to the polls on May 10, and sustainable development goals (SDG) issues such as sanitation, food security and free nutrition for the poor, free housing sites for the homeless and free cooking gas cylinders for the poor are top billing in the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) election manifesto released on May 1.


South Pacific: Fiji Tourism Is Back on Its Feet with Focus on Sustainability

By Sheryl Lal and Akansha Narayan*

NADI, Fiji (IDN) — Though Fiji Islands was unaffected by the first wave of COVID-19, its tourism sector, the lifeblood of the economy, has been devastated by border closure across the world due to the pandemic in the past two years. Thus, when the Fijian Tourism Expo (FTE) returned after a break of two years, Fiji Tourism’s CEO Brent Hill was in an upbeat mood, especially because they have been able to attract over 500 participants to the Expo in these competitive times for the travel industry. But, having experienced the vulnerabilities, sustainability was very much in focus during presentations at the event here.

Photo: Women planting an olive tree in the Marrakech-Safi region of Morocco (High Atlas Foundation, 2021)

Decentralisation Vital to Achieving the UN’s Global Goals

Viewpoint by Yossef Ben-Meir

The writer is a former Peace Corps Volunteer and president of the High Atlas Foundation.

MARRAKECH (IDN) — The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are aspirationally universal, addressing globally relevant issues with earnest objectives. Despite the profound good that they represent, fundamental problems exist with the Goals. They lack prescriptiveness, even to the extent of not explicitly aligning with what we know is indelible to sustainability: local people’s participation. (P09) ARABIC | JAPANESE TEXT VERSION PDF | SPANISH


New Research Raises Alarm for Our Most Precious Buffer to Climate Change: Groundwater

Viewpoint by Vincent Casey

The writer is Senior WASH Manager – Water, WaterAid UK

LONDON (IDN) – WaterAid’s newly released water security research has uncovered an alarming lack of global governance and grave mismanagement of the world’s precious groundwater reserves, needlessly putting millions of lives at risk.

Hundreds of millions of people rely on groundwater for their daily water needs. As global populations continue to grow and climate change threatens water security, groundwater extraction seems the obvious answer to boosting food production and industry.


Africa’s Largest Hydro Dam Held Hostage as Horn of Africa Countries Wage ‘Water War’

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK (IDN) – Three neighbouring countries locked in a bitter dispute over rights to the precious waters of the Nile River may provide a preview of water wars around the world as global temperatures rise and droughts leave populations with insufficient water to drink or for farms.

The three countries – Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan – are all claiming rights to Africa’s most fabled river but Ethiopia has already laid claim to the water at the source and has begun siphoning it into a $4.5 billion hydroelectric dam to the dismay of Egypt which relies on the Nile for 90 percent of its water.


COVID-19: Strengthen WHO for Systemic Change of Health Systems

Viewpoint by Dr P. I. Gomes

The writer is former-Secretary-General of the African, Caribbean & Pacific Group of States (now known as Organisation of Africa, Caribbean & Pacific States – OACPS)

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (IDN) – As the curve flattens in the trajectory of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in some countries, or the peak is claimed to have reached in others, allowing limited economic activities as in Wuhan, China or shopping for household necessities in Germany, widespread commentary and debate focus on economic, social, commercial and political impacts of the pandemic.


Sustainable Water Governance Is Critical for Achieving Peace in Horn of Africa

By Anniek Barnhoorn, Florian Krampe, Luc van de Goor, Elizabeth Smith & Dan Smith*

STOCKHOLM (IDN) – As the global climate changes, climate-related security risks are making the existing political, social, and economic challenges even more complicated. The 230 million people who live in the Horn of Africa are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as droughts and floods. Political fragility and transnational complexities make water governance a matter of regional high-level politics as well as geopolitical tensions. In short, sustainable water governance is critical for achieving resilient peace.


Water Security: A Lifeline for People and Planet

Viewpoint by Inge Kaul*

BERLIN (IDN) – In the face of upsurge of the coronavirus, World Water Day 2020 may seem to have no relevance. But the fact is that water is vital for life on earth. It is inextricably linked to climate change, protecting health and saving lives. Water is essential for practicing hand hygiene and combating the spread of COVID-19 and many other infectious diseases.

Therefore, I am deeply concerned about the relatively low-level of attention and priority accorded to water at the practical-political level.






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